Before you know it, those creepy-crawly creatures of the ocean deep that have been hiding under ledges and growing larger by the day, will become fair game as mini lobster season draws near, in just a couple of days.
Dive shops in the South Florida area are more crowded than they have ever been with lobster hunters on the prowl, stocking up on gear necessary to claim their prizes as they imagine luscious lobster tails dipped in drawn butter.
This coming Wednesday, July 30, 2014, begins what we all look forward to every year. Divers will head to the water to take advantage of a shortened hunting event, commonly referred to as mini-lobster season or bugfest. It is only for two days and is over at midnight on Thursday, July 31, 2014. The longer lobster season is still to come, beginning on August 6, 2014 and extending through March 31, 2015. The weather for this current two-day lobster season is promising to be optimal with sunny skies above and warm water temps below. The lobsters spotted so far by curious divers seem to be of hefty sizes and teasing divers as they photograph them from afar.
Mini-lobster season has expanded to become a competition for diving groups with prizes awarded for everything from the prettiest lobster caught by a woman to biggest bug caught on a boat and biggest bug caught on the shore. It is the perfect reason to have a pre-party and a post-celebration with live music and a lobster cook-off. Divers head out to the reef from the shore or from the boat. Dive operators are already booked many days in advance. To learn all the rules that you must abide by as you head down with your net in hand, go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/lobster/.
Looking at the advantages to this mini lobster hunt, it can be a couple of days of meeting new dive buddies and having fun with the buddies that you have had for many lobster seasons in the past. However, this sport also attracts many amateurs who are out for the competition and are not aware of the risks that can be involved if you don't adhere to safe and proper dive rules. It should be easy to remember that it is extremely important to dive responsibly, be courteous to fellow divers, be cautious at all times and remain aware of your surroundings and your air consumption and time below the surface.
Good luck to each and every lobster hunter!